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A New Look at the Student Profile

A New Look at the Student Profile

HireOwl rolls out a new user interface for students to build their personal, professional and video profile. The UI comes with simple and easy to use navigation that helps students describe their background and skills. The new video profile is powered by the best-in-class WebRTC protocol from IntegriVideo. Students can now record or upload their intro videos boosting their profile appeal. If you’re a student, come and check it out. Record an introductory video of yourself answering a few suggested questions. It only takes a few minutes. Employers will love it!

 

HireOwl Partners with Integrivideo.com for Web-based Video

HireOwl Partners with Integrivideo.com for Web-based Video

Partnership Announcement

HireOwl.com is thrilled to announce that it’s partnering with IntegriVideo.com to integrate advanced video and collaboration capabilities into its current service offering.

With the new collaboration features, employers will enjoy new tools to meet and interview students remotely. Adoption of these technologies will result in significant time-savings and better hiring decisions. Students will get a better chance to get to know their future employer before accepting a job offer.

These collaboration capabilities will also enable employers and students to interact with each other on a regular basis, creating a  virtual workspace for them discuss new assignments, plan deliverables and review the results.

At HireOwl.com we believe that this technology enables us to deliver a complete solution to employers for recruiting and working with the technology-savvy millennial workforce.

About HireOwl.com

HireOwl.com a fast growing student employment network, helping students find part-time jobs and internships.

About IntegriVideo.com

IntegriVideo.com offers industry leading video solutions to its clients in the form of web components, such as webrtc-based video, chat, recording, file sharing and many more. Its advanced analytics platform offers real-time analytics and monitoring of the service allowing for better scale and optimization.

How to Keep It Positive When Finding Jobs Takes Time

How to Keep It Positive When Finding Jobs Takes Time

As your college days are beginning to dwindle, receiving job rejections can take its toll on your psyche. It can feel like everyone around you has already signed a job contract while you’re the only one without prospects. And then when you finally do get an acceptance, it’s easy to rush into something that might not be the best fit in order to join the club, which can be short-lived if you decide to leave.

What to do when the process of finding jobs gets you down

Know your strengths

This, of course, is something that you should be doing before you even begin to write your first cover letter. But we encourage you to go beyond listing only that which sounds good to an employer. Take a good chunk of time to sit back and think about what makes you great, even outside of the business mindset. Maybe you’re a team player; what specific teams have you been a part of and what accomplishments did you achieve together? Or maybe you’re a good public speaker; when did you rouse a group of people to do something well? When did you perform in front of others—maybe with an instrument or in a theatrical event—to applause or acclaim?

When you create a resume, it’s usually the personal things like this that get shoved to the bottom or deleted in an effort to keep it to one page. But don’t just get rid of them entirely. Instead, write a new list that you get to keep for yourself. In addition to serving as an easy-access grab bag of conversation topics with recruiters—especially for those with whom you have something in common—this can be just what you need to stay positive.

Find your best fit

“Company culture” is a buzzy phrase that has permeated the business world. Some point to companies like Google and Facebook, which have brought the casual, perk-laden business environment to the forefront. Others point to the recession, which caused businesses to find other ways to retain employees than promotions and raises that they couldn’t afford. Whatever the source, company culture has become a mainstay.

Due to this, more businesses than ever are upfront about what defines their culture, especially because many of them have developed it after much trial, error, and research. This is why you can often find descriptions of company culture on the business’s own website as well as in its job postings and easily searchable Slideshares.

The reason we suggest that you spend a good amount of time understanding a company’s culture before you apply to join is because it gives you an idea of where you might fit best. You might not love the Google environment after all. Maybe you prefer to wear a suit and speak directly with clients. Or maybe you prefer to work on your own with minimal collaboration and don’t need all the community hoopla that other people prize. The point is that everyone’s different, and so is every company. Knowing yourself and precisely what you want will help you not only land a job, but also stay happy. And if you realize it wasn’t a good fit to begin with, you can keep your chin up and know that it wasn’t meant to be.

Be useful and productive

Just because you haven’t received a job offer yet doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back and do nothing. Find ways to fill your time and contribute to something. That could mean building your own blog to learn the ins and outs of site design and SEO. You could take advantage of short-term opportunities that help you build lasting relationships and potential references, even if it’s in a different field than you pictured yourself working in. Perhaps there’s a volunteering or freelance opportunity you’ve always wanted to try. The list goes on.

In addition to helping you feel productive and boosting your morale while you wait for an offer, these opportunities might even help you get a job in the future. You’ll be networking and expanding your interests, which might be the clincher that makes a recruiter take interest in you. Rejection is a necessary part of trying, so embrace the time it gives you and do something that helps you stand out.

Best Practices in Asking for an Employment Reference

Best Practices in Asking for an Employment Reference

When it comes time to apply to a job, whether for the summer months or full-time after graduation, it’s easy to get nervous. Many of us have been programmed not to brag about our accomplishments, so it can be particularly intimidating to ask someone else to do it for us. But fear not. The truth is if you ask the right person and prepare them adequately, he or she might be honored to serve as a reference for you. In this post, we’ll delve into how and why.

How to set up a successful employment reference

Know who you’re asking

It might seem easy just to ask whoever seems the most important, but you really want to ask someone who can speak to you. Recruiters can spot a generic fill-in-the-blanks reference on paper a mile away, and it’s also pretty obvious to detect it over the phone as well. Worse yet, you could accidentally ask someone who gives you a bad reference, and it’s very difficult to bounce back from that. So before you march up to the CEO or someone else who might not know you that well, consider someone with whom you’ve made a meaningful, professional connection.

Think strategically

Different references serve different purposes. While there is some overlapping, an academic reference can speak to different aspects of your productivity than a supervisor or a peer. Who can give specific examples that point to your willingness to put in extra hours to get the job done? What about your skills as a presenter or salesperson? Or your writing proficiency? Or how you always meet a deadline? Or that time you led a team? Think about what the recruiter is looking for in someone to fill the job. If you know of someone who can cover all the bases in one phone call, great! But chances are you’ll need at least two people, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Ask and discuss

Ask first. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d probably be surprised how often people find themselves on the receiving end of an unexpected call for a reference. Not only is it rude and presumptive to give someone’s name and contact information without his or her permission, but it’s also unfair not to allow that person to prepare. A good reference will ask you if there’s anything in particular you’d like them to speak about. Take advantage of this opportunity!

Sit down and have a discussion with each of the people you’re asking. It’s silly to assume that other people are keeping track of each of your accomplishments—at least as well as you have—so provide them with a brief synopsis. This way you can mention anything you’d like them to speak to in particular. If this sounds like a conversation that would make you uncomfortable, you’re probably not picking the right person. We’ll also add that if you need to ask for discretion, this would be the time.

Follow up

Even if a reference phone call lasts five minutes, those are five minutes that someone has taken out of his or her day to help you. Besides, if you chose the right people, they likely spent some time preparing as well. Show your gratitude by writing a thank-you note and offering to take them out for coffee. You don’t have to go over the top, but some appreciation goes a long way. After all, you may want to ask this person for a reference again in the future. Being gracious can help maintain this relationship even after you leave the company.

If you do convince them to come out for a cup of coffee, use the opportunity to ask how it went and gauge the reaction. If they answer “Great!” and change the subject, they probably don’t want to review the little things. But if they give you some examples of things they highlighted, you can reinforce them during your next interview.

A great reference (or two) can be the key to getting your dream job, so start building them now! It’s never too early to prove yourself. Start with short-term, part-time opportunities you’ve found on the HireOwl platform. You’ll work on real projects that provide potential references with lots of chances to see how great you are.

The Benefits of Being Digital Natives in an Evolving Workforce

The Benefits of Being Digital Natives in an Evolving Workforce

Calling all college students! We have great news: You know more than you think you do.

No, really.

We know that entering the world of job applications and post-graduate planning can be intimidating, especially in a market that seems more competitive than ever. How on earth do you stand a chance next to the girl who built her own digital-marketing platform at age 17? Or the guy who serves as co-president of four different career-based extracurriculars? You’ve probably had people tell you that it’s ok not to be 100 percent certain of what you want to do while you’re still in school, but sometimes it can feel like all evidence points to the contrary.

What digital natives bring to the workforce

We’re going to expand on that good news we gave you earlier: Not only do you know more than you think you do, but you also know more than many of your recruiters when it comes to digital business applications.

You have grown up curating your interests on social media, finding services that are relevant to you on mobile apps, and knowing how to operate a digital camera. You’ve shared your experiences—personal or otherwise—on your blogs and built a place to showcase them with the help of blogging platforms (or maybe even on your own hosted site). You understand the various benefits of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and why you might choose one over the other for a particular type of post.

What you may not realize is that there is so much baked into these accomplishments that recruiters are seeking. Even if your impetus was just blogging for fun, you were developing skills that you can leverage at any job. In building up your social media accounts, you were creating a brand and demonstrating your ability to gather and engage followers. In posting regularly to your blog, you showed an ability to meet deadlines and think of new and interesting ways to discuss a certain topic. In doing even a little bit of SEO, you were becoming accustomed to how Google ranks pages.

In other words, you have already demonstrated a host of abilities that many older employees lack. Just as learning a second language is easier when you are young, so too is understanding all the ins and outs of digital and mobile technologies—the two things that have moved many businesses forward while others lag far behind.

The next time you’re applying to a job and you feel like you don’t have enough experience to even be considered, sit back and take an inventory of what you have accomplished in the digital sphere. One of the best ways to leverage your skills in a way that translates easily to recruiters is to seek part-time, short-term employment while you’re still in school. Rather than traditional internships—where there’s no promise that you’ll actually be getting applicable experience—a learn-and-earn opportunity provides you with a concrete project that you can point to in your cover letters and resumes. You’ll be creating a networking base and gathering references while test-driving certain industries and company types, all without the restrictions of a full-time, long-term job. Check out HireOwl’s job postings today and give yourself the tools you need to grow your confidence. You deserve it!

Professional Networking with Purpose: Stand Out from the Pack

Professional Networking with Purpose: Stand Out from the Pack

To succeed at professional networking events is to use your time wisely. It’s a fallacy to think that the loudest person—or the one who is otherwise getting the most attention—is automatically the most successful person. Instead, the wise thing to do is to make an impression on the right contacts, not necessarily the most contacts. But how do you accomplish this at an event filled with people, all with their own strengths?

Tips for standing out at professional networking events

Know yourself

Just like you, potential employers want to use their time economically. In order to make the most of your conversation before they begin to lose interest, you have to be able to understand what they need and how you can fill their voids in a timely fashion. Before the event, be sure to know not only what sort of jobs would be fulfilling to you, but also your general strengths. In other words, know how you could help someone else. This way you can allow some room for opportunities you may not have even considered. You might just surprise yourself.

At the same time, being able to know whether something isn’t the right fit is just as valuable as the opposite. Don’t waste time courting an opportunity that doesn’t interest you or won’t leverage your best skills.

Know who is attending the event in advance

If possible, ask the organizers (usually your school’s career office) for a list of attendees in advance of the event. Even if you only have a day or two to prepare, your research will show in the small amount of time you have to impress potential employers.

But rather than simply memorize facts, take the time to consider how you’d fit in the company environment. More importantly, make a list of questions you have regarding culture, room for promotion, and other benefits that are important to you, such as the chance to travel or start a 401k.

Communicate wisely

While it’s important to connect with someone on a personal level, once that happens you should let the other person do most of the talking. By spending more of your time listening, you’re demonstrating that you’re not just there to talk about yourself and that you’re taking their businesses seriously. This should go without saying, but even if you’re listening in a group of other people, make sure to put away your phone. Better yet, turn it off before you arrive so it doesn’t even buzz. The second someone sees you checking a text message or reacting to an alert, you’ve lost their desire to speak to you further.

If you get to the point where you’ve hit it off with a potential employer, or even if your curiosity is piqued, ask for contact information so you can follow up. It’s extremely important to do so in a timely manner, not only to be polite, but also to ensure that the person doesn’t forget you. Remember that each potential employer is meeting many people in a short period of time. A punctual message can ensure that you’re fresher in their minds than others who fail to do so.
Still unsure of where you’d fit best in a new business? Test drive various roles and industries before you graduate (or even before your senior year)! Check out our list of available jobs today.

How to Market Yourself in a Job Interview

How to Market Yourself in a Job Interview

You’re just starting senior year, and you’re getting a bit nervous as you think about the job interviews standing between you and life after college. Trust us, you’re not alone. For many of us, talking about ourselves is an entirely uncomfortable endeavor. Some even consider it obnoxious to toot their own horn—so to speak. But that’s exactly what you have to do in a job interview to succeed, so how do you get past it?

The secret of how to market yourself in a job interview: succinct storytelling

Know your audience

The first step in getting over the “bragging” aspect of marketing yourself is to understand that all of the best job interviews turn into conversations, rather than simple Q&As. This should come as a bit of a relief, since that establishes equal footing in terms of the focus of the conversation. The company representatives have to convince you that their workplace would be a good fit as much as you do, so come prepared with questions you want answered.

But beyond the questions, make sure that you’ve studied up on the company itself. The easiest way to get lost in the shuffle is to give a cookie-cutter interview, so make sure that you’ve done your research and understand how you can contribute to the company at large, not just the position to which you’re applying.

Choose your stories in advance

“Show, don’t tell” is a familiar trope among writers, and for good reason. The same goes for any job interview: It’s a lot more convincing to demonstrate how you excelled at something than to simply tell someone that you’re good at it.

Since you already did your market research in step one above, come prepared with two to three stories that show your best traits as a worker. It might be worthwhile to think ahead and choose one story where you overcame an unforeseen problem and worked well under pressure, and another where you went above and beyond to deliver more than just the assigned task. Think of hard and soft skills and come up with demonstrative examples of how you’ve honed them over time.

Practice!

This is where the succinct aspect to your storytelling comes in. Even if you’ve already chosen the story you want to tell, it can easily get away from you if telling it for the first time during your job interview. To ensure that you’re getting to the point as quickly as possible, practice. And we aren’t just talking about writing down some ideas on an index card. Say it out loud in front of a mirror! You’ll find out very quickly what aspects of the story drag on and can be edited. Come up with four checkpoints and tick them off against your thumb to know where you are. When it’s showtime, you’ll be thankful that you did.

Finding yourself in need of some stories that demonstrate your best skills? It’s never too late to build on your resume by leveraging part-time, short-term job opportunities while you’re still in school. Check out the many available positions available on HireOwl today and get started!

An Introduction to Job Analysis for College Students

An Introduction to Job Analysis for College Students

Job analysis is a familiar term among HR professionals. Traditionally, it involves determining the responsibilities and necessary skills of a particular position within a company. As culture has increasingly become part of the workplace conversation, many HR specialists have included it in their job analyses as well. It all comes down to two main ideas: seeking specific traits in a candidate, and the specific duties that candidate will conduct when he or she is hired.

Though job analysis is typically conducted from within a company, it’s never too early to run your own type of job analysis as a college student. You may have an idea of what your dream job will be someday, but are you sure? What do you need to do to get there, succeed, and be promoted in the future?

How to run a job analysis for your dream position while you’re still in college

Start with the duties

It’s a simple question: What do you want to do every day? But the answer is rarely simple. Sometimes it’s easier to start with the big picture. Do you want to be creating something new? Even if you work as a sole contractor or freelancer, you will be fitting some need in a bigger machine. So what role is it that you want to play in the grander scheme of things?

 

As the bigger picture is beginning to form, turn to the anatomy of one workday. Perhaps you’d like to be out in the field, speaking with people and finding a solution to their needs, as a salesperson would. Or maybe you’d prefer to immerse yourself in a video-editing booth with little daily interaction with others. Do you want to be a part of a team? Do you want to travel? These are the sorts of questions that requiring answering before you move forward.

Make your skills fit the bill

You’ve identified what you’d like to do for your dream job. Now’s the time to consider what skills you need to acquire in order to be qualified for the position. But this also requires taking a step back. Chances are your dream job is not at the entry level, so think about where you need to begin. This might include anything from a graduate degree to building years of experience in a particular department.

Look at some of the job descriptions posted online for various companies to see what they ask for, and make a list of the overlapping traits they desire. If there’s anything you can start developing while you’re in school, take advantage of it. You may benefit from talking to a career advisor or a professor within a particular department who can answer any questions you have about the best way to move forward in skill building. It’s never too early to start!

Consider culture

Silicon Valley has done more to advance the modern workforce than simply creating the technology it uses. Its businesses have also done much to promote the discussion of company culture, from the all-in-one mentality at the Googleplex to the casual environment of Facebook. While this might not contribute to what you want to do every day, it will help you determine where you want to do it. Study up on various company cultures to see where you might be a good fit and have the opportunity to move up the ranks more swiftly.

Once you’ve narrowed down the field, HireOwl gives you the opportunity to double check your job analysis results. Sign up for short-term, part-time assignments that will give you a fresh look.

How to Make Productive Use of Your Summer: A Guide for Students

How to Make Productive Use of Your Summer: A Guide for Students

We asked our friends at AdmitSee for some advice on what you can do over your summer break to gain some experience and get ahead of your peers. Here’s what they had to say:

Class is over, and the beach awaits. While some students are looking ahead and figuring out the best ways to relax and stave off activity completely, there are opportunities that you can take advantage of to help yourself.

Get a job, make some money

Though it’s the first obvious option, it’s one that is always worth reiterating. Aside from the money you’ll earn, real work can guide you toward a career you weren’t previously considering, just as it can guide you away from what you thought would be your dream job. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do after graduation, summer is a prime time to test your options.

If you already have a job this summer and you’re looking for extra ways to make money, freelancing is a great way to go. Online blogs and publications are always looking for writers, developers are looking for extra help, and companies could always use a few more hands on deck. Do you still have your college application materials? If so, you can earn money on AdmitSee! Create a profile and upload your college application files and advice on college admissions to help new applicants get into school.

Sharpen your skills

You just finished school for the year. Why would you possibly want to get back in the classroom over the summer? These days, there are so many ways to further yourself and your education beyond your standard university classes. MOOCs (massive online open classrooms) are a great way to spice up your resume and take the initiative to learn more. Whether you’re looking to catch up on science and math classes or you want to venture out and take business or computer-science classes, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Pick up a new hobby or master what you already know by taking classes online or in person.

Help your community

Volunteering is one of the most helpful things you can do in your free time. Not only is it personally fulfilling and fully of experience, it’s a way for you to reach out and genuinely help the people in your community or in other communities in need. There is an abundance of established programs that you can join, but you might also want to consider finding a new way to help a cause that you’re passionate about.

All that being said, make sure to take time for yourself and enjoy your summer. But there are great opportunities available to you, and they can help you personally and professionally. If you don’t know what steps to take or what you’re interested in, chat with other college students at universities across the country for help and guidance.

Use Part Time Jobs for College Students to Enhance Your Creativity

Use Part Time Jobs for College Students to Enhance Your Creativity

There’s no denying that the term “creative work” is a bit redundant. No matter what sort of work you do, you always have the opportunity to be creative in finding solutions. But it’s particularly true of fields that involve writing, design, and photography that you may have to pay your dues before taking any sort of creative reins.

Part time jobs for college students: helping you jump the creative curve

This, of course, can be a frustrating aspect of whatever entry-level position you find yourself accepting. You’ll be eager to prove yourself, but may also be stuck behind a chain of command that gives you few opportunities to do so. If you put yourself in your higher-ups’ positions, however, it’s hard to argue. These people are in charge of seeing if you can comprehend and mimic the voice and style of the company you represent. Thus you cannot take charge of creative decisions until you have proven yourself. You may outline a blog post or create a style guide that will never be seen by anyone other than your direct supervisor if it’s not right for the company.

So what’s the best way of separating yourself from the pack? The easiest way to convince someone that you’re worthy of creative responsibility is to hand over a resume that is already packed with experience.

Learn-and-earn opportunities are your best shot

We’re probably not blowing your mind when we point out that more experience leads to more responsibility. But you may not realize that you don’t have to wait until you are out of college to start gathering real experiences that get you ahead. There are, of course, the classic summer internships after junior year, but there is a huge disparity between the number of internships available and the number of college students seeking to fill them. Besides, even if you’re able to snag one of these coveted spots, there’s little guarantee that you’ll be spending time doing something that actually interests you.

Instead, turn toward part-time positions that you can accomplish during your college semesters or the summer months. In addition to trying out different roles and industries, you have the opportunity to complete real projects that you can point to with pride as examples of your creative growth—and get paid in the process. Many of the people who are seeking students to fill these roles are looking for their expertise in advanced social media, graphic design, or another field in which you may already be an expert.

Preempt being held back due to lack of experience and check out HireOwl’s available positions. You may just find what spurs your creative passion along the way!